A Brief History of the West Pennsboro Volunteer Fire Company
Company 46 was originally founded as the Plainfield Community Center in October 1961. The purpose of the organization at that time was to improve the social, spiritual, and physical condition of the local residents. At that time, the only piece of fire fighting apparatus was an International Tanker that had cost $100.00. A second piece of equipment was a 1936 Ford Pumper which was borrowed from Newville Fire Company.
In January 1963 the Ladies Auxiliary was organized. Throughout the years of the company’s existence, this group has volunteered countless hours and dollars to help pay company bills. Later the same year, the community center building was erected at a cost of $15,000.00. A dining area and a two bay garage was included.
The Plainfield Community Center was dissolved in March 1967 and the West Pennsboro Township Volunteer Fire Company became incorporated. A Federal Pumper was purchased at that time also and served until 1976. Several years later a Ford Tanker was also purchased as “Brush 46”, the first truck of its kind in Cumberland County. To house the additional vehicles, the building was enlarged in 1974.
In 1978, Junior members were included in the company’s membership. Two years later, the company became debt free for the first time in its history.
During the 1980’s, the company has upgraded its equipment with the purchase of a 1977 Ford 1,000 GPM Engine and a 1978 Mack Tanker with a 2,500 gallon tank and a 1,000 GPM pump. Three new bays were added to the station, the meeting room was doubled in size, a new bunk room, office and storage area was added in recent years.
In 1993, the company purchased our current engine, an HME chassis with 4-Guys body. The unit has a 1500 GPM Hale pump, 1000 gallon tank and 100 gallon foam tank. It replaced the 1977 F -700 Engine. Then in 1999 Mini-Pumper 46 was purchased and placed into service. The chassis is an International 4×4 and the body was made by 4-Guys. The Mini-Pumper replaced the 1963 brush truck, and also ran first-due on auto accidents for many years.
Our current brush truck was purchased in 2001 as Utility 146. The 1995 F-350 4×4, was placed in service to haul equipment to and from the fire scene and to plow snow. In 2004, the company placed a skid unit onto the truck bed and the new Brush 46 went into service. The skid unit has a 250 GPM pump with a 300 gallon water tank.
After 18 years of service, the 1978 R model Mack tanker was replaced with the current 1991 CH Mack chassis with a 2004 New Lexington body. The new Tanker 46 has a 1500 GPM pump with a 2500 gallon tank.
Most recently, the company acquired a 1993 Ford E-350 former ambulance. Many firefighters and fire policemen put a lot of time and effort into converting this piece into Traffic Unit 46, which went into service in late 2006.